Iran looks forward to better relationship with US: President

November 12th, 2008 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaTehran, Nov 12 (IANS) Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday said Iran looks forward to a new phase of relationship with the US under the new administration of Barack Obama, reported official IRNA news agency.Ahmadinejad, the first Iranian leader since Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979 to congratulate an American president on election victory, said the post-Bush US must review its relationship with the nations of the world.

The administration of President George W. Bush has classified Iran as a member of the so-called “axis of evil” and accused the Islamic state of sponsoring terrorism and leading a secret programme to make atomic bombs.

The victory of Obama in the US presidential race has evoked optimism in Iran that there would be a new direction in Washington’s foreign policy.

Senior Iranian leader and parliament speaker Ali Larijani Monday said he believed Obama would bring “strategic change” in Washington’s Iran policy.

Larijani told a seminar: “Obama must acknowledge that change does not mean a change of colour or superficial development but involves new approach in policy”, official IRNA news agency Sunday quoted him as saying.

Obama must send the correct signal to the region to rebuild relationship, the Iranian leader said.

Referring to the US president-elect’s recent remarks on Iran’s nuclear programme, he said it represented the “same erroneous line of thinking of the past”.

At his first press conference since winning the US presidential election, Obama had accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and lending support to terrorist organizations.

“Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon I believe is unacceptable. We have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening,” Obama claimed. “Iran’s support of terrorist organizations, I think, is something that has to cease.”

“Obama’s words were tantamount to moving on the previous wrong track,” Larijani said.

“It is necessary (for the US) to make a strategic change in policies. But this change will not be made easily because there are many decision-making centres in the country,” he warned.

Obama ran his campaign under the slogan of ‘change’, and his landslide victory has fuelled hopes across the world for a new approach to US foreign policy.

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